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Physical Fitness for Seniors: How Much and Which Exercises Are Best

The countdown is on to the new year, and this means just one thing: deciding on a resolution you can make that you will actually be empowered to keep. Why not consider setting a goal that can help both you and someone you love live healthier and feel happier, while improving physical fitness for seniors?

A regular exercise routine is vital for all of us, but not always easy to start or maintain. One good way to stay motivated is to identify an accountability partner and encourage each other. If you are providing care for an older member of the family, you have the perfect opportunity to help one another become more physically fit! But it’s important to first know how much and what types of exercise are best for seniors.

What’s the Right Amount of Exercise for Older Adults?

This varies from one person to the next, and should always start with a visit to the physician for a full check-up and recommendations. Whatever an individual’s ability level, appropriate exercise is important. It improves bone density, muscle mass, lung and heart functioning, and much more, including boosting mood and emotional wellbeing.

There are several general guidelines for physical fitness for seniors, and the news couldn’t be better: even a small amount of physical activity will make a positive change. As little as 15 – 20 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (running, swimming, playing basketball or tennis) has been shown to reduce mortality rate by 16 – 40%.

What Are Some Good Exercises for Older Adults?

Some of the best aerobic exercises to consider, which can be modified as needed according to ability level, include:

  • Dancing, which helps strengthen multiple muscle groups while improving balance and mood – and, if dancing with a partner, socialization too.
  • Cycling, either on an outdoor or stationary bike: a fantastic low impact activity that benefits the heart, lungs, and large muscles.
  • Walking, especially in nature, to experience diverse terrains as well as the psychological effects that can come from spending time outdoors, including a boost in mood, lowered stress and anxiety, and more.

How to Get Started

Getting started with a new fitness routine is frequently the hardest part. Here are some tips to help you both achieve success:

  • Be sure to stay hydrated.
  • Choose activities that are fun. With so many options, there is no reason to settle for a boring, tedious routine.
  • Include warm-up and cool-down periods.
  • Begin slowly and set attainable goals. Then celebrate reaching them!
  • If any discomfort or pain is experienced, stop.

Let Us Help!

A caregiver from Superior Senior Home Care makes a fantastic exercise buddy to help older adults stay on track with a new or existing physical fitness program. We are here to provide transportation to the gym, pool, senior center, or anywhere else the individual wish to go. We also make great walking partners! Contact us at 805-737-4357 to find out more about our senior care services in Lompoc, Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach, and the surrounding areas.

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